The Experimental Jetset; Organizing for Action; Trump Make America Great Again Committee
By Ryan Teague Beckwith
August 26, 2016

You know how your favorite band suddenly seems less cool once your mom knows about them? Or an internet catchphrase loses its cachet once your history teacher uses it to explain the Reconstruction era?

Presidential campaigns are like that.

The latest example comes from Donald Trump’s campaign store, where an “issues statement” T-shirt promotes “Competent Leadership& 2nd Amendment Rights& SmallGovernment& ImmigrationReform& HealthcareReform& TaxReform& Jobs.”

The shirt is a direct reference to one from President Obama’s campaign which called for “ClimateChange& EconomicOpportunity& GunViolencePrevention& HealthCare& ImmigrationReform& MarriageEquality& WomensRights&”.

But the real origin of the design comes from Amsterdam-based graphic designers Experimental Jetset, who created a band T-shirt about the Beatles for a Japanese T-shirt company called 2K/Gingham in 2001.

The original design was stark: “John& Paul& Ringo& George.” As the designers explain on their website, the first names were chosen to help strip the band down to its essentials, while the ampersands were added to keep George Harrison’s longer first name from standing out too much.

They followed it with similar shirts for the Rolling Stones (“Keith& Mick& Bill& Charlie& Brian.”) and the Ramones (“Joey& DeeDee& Johnny& Tommy.”), but the minimalist design was so popular that it soon was ripped off by other T-shirt makers for everything from the Wu-Tang Clan to Nintendo to Star Wars.

The designers seem unfazed by the attention, posting images on their own site of the copies. And their only complaint about the Trump shirt was fairly technical.

“The typeface, the colors, and the kerning was better on the Barack Obama T-Shirt,” wrote designers Marieke Stolk, Erwin Brinkers and Danny van den Dungen in a joint email to TIME.

But if anything can make this ubiquitous T-shirt design seem uncool, it’s a presidential campaign adopting it.

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

You May Like

EDIT POST